The human race has been estimated to have been on this planet for over 200,000 years. We have gone from a fire pit to the microwave, from a loin cloth to a winter coat, and from horse back to the back of a limousine. We are the supreme beings and have made scientific and technological advancements that, at one time, could only be thought of in a science fiction book. However, there is one little common quirk that we encounter in our everyday life that seems to still hold us back with one another in the realm of communication. When two strangers are left alone with one another and there is the slightest hint of an awkward silence, we are all exposed to the ever so common conversation of talking about the weather. The first dreaded verbal shield of defense somebody has against the uncomfortable feeling of sitting in silence with another. It’s something everyone is familiar with. It’s something that we had all experienced our entire lives and will continue to experience until our unknown date of expiration. Though, is it something that we have to resort to talking about every time we encounter another person we don’t know that we will feel forced to converse with? Is sitting quietly with our own thoughts such a bad thing? Is there an alternative we can use to avoid the curse of the weather forecast discussion?
When two strangers are left alone with one another and there is the slightest hint of an awkward silence, we are all exposed to the ever-so-common conversation of talking about the weather. The first dreaded verbal shield of defense somebody has against the uncomfortable feeling of sitting in silence with another. It’s something everyone is familiar with. It’s something that we had all experienced our entire lives and will continue to experience until our unknown date of expiration. Though, is it something that we have to resort to talking about every time we encounter another person we don’t know that we will feel forced to converse with? Is sitting quietly with our own thoughts such a bad thing? Is there an alternative we can use to avoid the curse of the weather forecast discussion?
Yes, the weather is something that is for all of us, no matter where you are from, the most common ground that we have to share. We experience it every day and honestly, unless you’re located somewhere that has drastic climate change daily, it is the most boring thing to talk about even in the realm of passing time. The wind blows, the sun shines, the chucklehead on the morning news says that “There may be a chance for rain this evening”.
We’ve seen the weather happen literally every day since birth. There are billions of other things that happen every hour that could be brought up as a topic of conversation. Just falling back to talking about the weather seems so prepackaged and a waste of human potential for interacting with someone new. Yes, it is something that feels comfortable enough that anyone can talk about, but is it something that everyone wants to talk about? One would imagine that perhaps talking about your pets, or the latest episode of your favorite show, or even just making up a false story about yourself would be way more intriguing than mentioning that there is a cold front coming in from the east.
There definitely has to be a solution to all of this; A way that we can collectively break this anxiety of tense silences with a strategic collection of words that expand more thought and purpose in a conversation. We as a species have an unbelievable history of information that we could share, even within our own life spans. Maybe we could develop a couple of conversation points or questions for these very moments. Even to start simply with, what is your favorite color? What type of toppings do you prefer on your pizza? You could even kick things up a notch and test the other individual with: How’s your sex life? Do you prefer your toilet paper to roll over or roll under before you wipe your ass? What are your thoughts on a modernized version of Reservoir Dogs with an all female South American cast? The reactions you get will vary every time and it all depends on the type of individuals that are put in the room together. Most people you will have a challenge talking to with this approach. Yet, some people can click right away and have a plot to take over the world by 3 o’clock this afternoon and still be home in time to watch Wheel of Fortune. The point is to take your chances and roll the verbal dice.
Just because we meet someone for the first and last time in our lives doesn’t mean that we won’t remember them. There are moments in everyday life that impact us whether we realize it or not from something on a very small scale to something we’ll never forget and recall from time to time for the rest of our lives. A part of that is the people that we meet and experience that have the potential to make a lasting impression on us. We never know this every time though. Why waste these moments and chances just talking about the sky, which we have no control over? We end up painting ourselves into a verbal corner just to eliminate a temporary feeling of collective tension. The possibilities of a decent conversation are being wasted on the boring and the common go-to. We might as well have conversations about blinking or breathing out of our noses or picking out socks. Why not try to indulge another about philosophical possibilities of what another parallel universe version of themselves could be doing right now? It’s not going to be an easy task fishing for someone to bite at these talking points that take things to a different level. Every now and again you’ll find that special stranger to indulge you and bounce ideas back and forth. Time will surely pass without knowing where it went, being drowned out with endless conversations. Sometimes you’ll have someone just be completely freaked out and get up and leave the room because you’re invading their territorial bubble with your unorthodox ways of conversing. They may even call the cops based on your initial approach. Yet, in the end, at least you won’t be stuck talking about the weather and you’ll have a great story ready for next time.